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The Chief Illiniwek Dialogue 

Intent and Tradition vs. Reaction and History 



Louis B. Garippo 
Cahil Christian & Kunkle, Ltd. 
224 S. Michigan Avenue, #1300 
Chicago, Illinois 60604 














On January 13, 2000, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois passed a 
resolution concerning the issue of the continuation of the Chief Illiniwek 
performances at its athletic events. The resolution acknowledged the existence of a 

controversy, and the resolution (found in the Trustees' Appendix @ No.l) provides in 

4. The Board resolves to ensure that processes are in place which are designed to 
address the differences within the University community regarding the use of the 
Chief as a symbol and its alleged negative impact. 

On February 15, 2000, the Board, pursuant to the earlier resolution, issued the 
following press release: 

CHAMPAIGN, 111.— A plan for renewed dialogue on Chief Illiniwek was 
announced today by William D. Engelbrecht, Chairman of the 
University of Illinois Board of Trustees. 

The Board of Trustees reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue on January 
13, and today s announcement is a tangible expression of that 
commitment, he said. 

Engelbrecht said that the University would retain a senior legal 
professional to help gather opinion on Chief Illiniwek, symbol of the 
Urbana campus s athletic teams, and present it to the Board in a form 
that would allow the Board to respond to particular points in an 
organized way. 

The first step, he said, will be opinion solicitation. Students, faculty, 
staff, alumni, and the general public will be invited to submit their 
opinions in writing. 

Submissions may be sent to Dialogue on Chief Illiniwek, P.O. Box 5052, 
Champaign, Illinois 61825 or to The deadline for submissions will be 
May 31. 

The Board will hold a Special Intake Session on the Urbana campus 
April 14. Interested people of all shades of opinion will be welcome to 
present their views. 

The University will retain a senior legal professional to compile all the 
communications received, including a transcript of the Special Intake 
Session as well as the letters and e-mails. 

The senior legal professional will prepare a three-part report consisting 
of 1) an executive summary of the various arguments made about this 
issue from all points of view, 2) a distillation of these arguments into 
particular points to which the Board will reply, and 3) an appendix 
consisting of the transcript of the Special Intake Session and all 
communications received. All members of the Board of Trustees will 

receive this report on August 1, and it will be available to the press and 
general public. 

Engelbrecht said that the Board will hold a Special Response Session on 
the Urbana campus in the fall at which it will respond to the various 
issues as presented by the senior legal professional. The Board may also 
choose to issue general statements or adopt resolutions at that or a later 

"This plan should allow all opinions to be heard and allow the Board to 
respond to all of the issues raised during the process. I urge everyone 
interested in this issue to offer his or her opinion. We'll be listening," he 

Engelbrecht said that further details about the Special Intake Session 
would be announced soon. E-mail: 

On March 30, 2000, the Board named the undersigned to be the senior legal 
professional to preside over the Intake Session and compile the report to the Board of 
Trustees. The press release issued that day, which in addition sets out the procedures 
for the Dialogue, can be found at Trustees' Appendix @ No. 2. The role of the senior 
legal professional was meant to be and remains limited: 

Garippo may advise the Board on procedural questions but will not make 
a recommendation on the status of Chief Illiniwek. His task will be to 
convey respondents' opinions to the board. 

[March 30, 2000 - Press Release by Board] This report is being submitted to the 
Board pursuant to the above directions. 

As discussed in Section IV of this report, this controversy has been debated at great 
length and with great passion for eleven years. On numerous occasions participants 
and close observers of the discussions have heard various forms of the many 
arguments during that time period. To those persons this report will present no 
significantly new arguments. 

One might question, then, whether the Dialogue and this report are beneficial. Clearly, 
they are. First, they give all persons affected or interested in the issue an opportunity 
to express their views and have those opinions reviewed. Secondly, at the Intake 

Session the Board had the opportunity to see and hear over 120 persons voice their 
opinions with great passion either in person or on video. Thirdly, and most 
importantly, the report presents both sides of the Dialogue from their historical 
perspectives. This is not only helpful to those readers who know little or even nothing 
about the controversy, but just as importantly, perhaps even the contributors to the 
Dialogue might better appreciate the position from which opposing opinions arise. 

This issue frequently polarizes those who express opinions. As the moderator of this 
Dialogue, the most difficult goal was to carry out the designated duties in such a 
manner that attendees at the Dialogue and readers of this report would feel that all 
views had been considered and fairly reported, and at the same time, no bias would be 
ascribed to the actions or statements of the moderator. Every effort was made to 
achieve that goal; hopefully those efforts were successful. 


Although the various arguments on each side are discussed separately in Section VIII 
of this report, there is one issue that the speakers and writers have spent a great deal of 
time discussing and analyzing and should be addressed at this time. 

While the Chief is not a true mascot in that he does not participate in the usual 
cheerleading activities of mascots of other schools, neither is he a true symbol of the 
University tradition. If he truly represented that tradition, his appearance would not be 
limited to athletic events. Chief Illiniwek is not an individual. Rather, "he" is a 
performance consisting of music, dance and costume performed at athletic events for 
the past 74 years. What began as a clever diversion for halftime at a football game has 
evolved into a tradition of its own. 

As halftime entertainment to crowds of up to 70,000 people, he is perceived 
subjectively in many different ways. By attaching a label which identifies the 
performance as symbol or mascot based on subjective individual reaction or 
perception begs the question and adds nothing to the debate as to whether the 
performance should be retained. This report will avoid either designation. 


The Illini were a loose association or confederation of several tribes all speaking the 
Algonquin language. Those tribes included, among others, the Kaskaskia, Cahokia, 
Peoria, Tamaroa, and Metchigamea. At the time of European contact, this group lived 
and hunted in an area approximately from the Illinois-Wisconsin border on the north, 
east to the Wabash River basin, westward across the Mississippi into eastern Iowa, 
with the Ohio River to the south. 

The Illini did not live in tipis; their dwellings were long houses consisting of bark or 
mats stretched over wooden frames. They combined hunting, fishing, gathering and 
farming on a yearly cycle with corn as their most important crop. After their first 
contact with Europeans in the 1670s, their ranks were depleted primarily by intertribal 
warfare (including battles with the Dakota Sioux) and disease. The primary enemy 
was the Iroquois, who attacked them first in 1682 as the Iroquois sought new areas for 
hunting and trapping. Attacks from the Iroquois and conflicts with other tribes caused 
the Illini to move down the Illinois River Valley. By the middle of the eighteenth 
century, their population was a fraction of what it had been a century before. The Illini 
alliances with the French and, after the American Revolution, with the Americans 
contributed to their demise. Their French allies ceded their territories to the British in 
1763, and in the first decades of the nineteenth century the Americans failed to 
support them when attacked by groups supported by the British. 

By the 1830s when the U. S. Government adopted the policy of removal, which 
forcibly relocated most Native Americans from states east of the Mississippi River, 
there were few Illini survivors left in Illinois. By treaty, most of the land occupied by 
the Illini was ceded to the government, and the last of the Kaskaskia and Peorias 
crossed the Mississippi and headed briefly to Missouri and then to Kansas where they 
remained until the white settlers wanted their land. They then were relocated to 
Oklahoma where they yet remain, united as a single tribe, the Peoria. A few Tamaroas 
and Metchigameas remained in Illinois, where some of their descendants remain to 
this day. 

According to the 1990 U. S. census, in the State of Illinois, 20,970 people identified 
themselves as American Indian, with no designation as to tribal ancestry. That figure 
represents 0.2% of the total population of 10,830,612 in the state. Coincidentally, that 
percentage is identical to the Indian enrollment at UIUC which the University reports. 

American Indians have questioned whether actually there are 76 of their ethnic group 
enrolled out of the 36,738 total student population as reported by the University. 

A. Origin 

The story of the origin of the Chief is common knowledge to those familiar with the 
debate surrounding the Chiefs existence. To those new to the discussion, however, it 
is informative to analyze the origins of the entire performance. 

In 1926, Ray Dvorak, assistant director of bands, conceived the idea of having a 
Native American war dance performed at halftime at the Illinois-Pennsylvania game. 
Lester Leutwiler, a student with a keen interest in native lore, was picked to dance. 
Relying on knowledge gained as an Eagle Scout, he prepared a homemade costume 
complete with a war bonnet made of turkey feathers. The halftime performance was a 
big hit. For the rest of the 1926 season and again for the 1927 season, Leutwiler 
continued his Chief performances 

From the home page of the UIUC web site, we are informed as to how the Chief was 

The expression "Illiniwek" was first used in conjunction with the 
University of Illinois by football coach Bob Zuppke in the mid 1920's. 
Zup was a philosopher and historian by training and inclination, and he 
was intrigued by the concept the Illini peoples held about their identity 
and aspirations. They spoke a dialect of the Algonquin language and 
used the term "Illiniwek" to refer to the complete human being - the 
strong, agile human body; the unfettered human intellect; the 
indomitable human spirit. 

It is not surprising that an Indian was selected as representative of the University. 
Much of the European- American culture adopted the American Indian as symbolic of 
a new found tradition. Hence, the prevalence of Indian names for states, rivers and 
other geographic landmarks. Additionally, there was a fascination with Americans 
carrying on Indian customs as reflected by the formation of the Boy Scouts, Eagle 

Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other groups which placed heavy emphasis on the cultivation 
of Indian crafts and practices. 

Prior to the creation of Chief Illiniwek in 1926, the University of Illinois exhibited a 

considerable interest in an American Indian identity. An examination of 

the Illio beginning in 1901 reveals countless pictorials of the American Indian. These 

depictions ranged from Indian faces similar to the present school logo, sketches of 

muscular, nude or minimally clothed Indian men in headdresses, medicine men, 

natives dancing with tomahawks, etc. An Indian was a likely selection for the 


B. The Costume 

From the Chief Illiniwek Homepage, the following appears: 

The Chiefs dance might have faded into oblivion except for history 
major A. Webber Borchers, who picked up the torch. 

"I realized the idea of an Indian chief could be turned into a tremendous 
historical and symbolic advantage for the U. of I. ," Borchers wrote in 
1984. "I realized that it would be necessary to have certain objects to 
continue this tradition. If you have a kingdom, there must be, so to 
speak, a crown, scepter and the regalia to pass down from king to king, 
chief to chief. " 

So Borchers, who died in 1989, asked for and received permission from 
Dvorak to use a temporary costume for the 1929 season. Then he would 
see about getting permanent, authentic garb for the Chief. 

Unfortunately, about the time Borchers wanted to raise money for the 
project, the Depression gripped the nation and money disappeared. 
Borchers collected $35 or $40 in contributions, mostly in nickels and 
dimes, but that didn't come close to covering the cost of suitable attire. 

Local businessman Isaac Kuhn offered $500 if Borchers would 
personally see to it that a proper war suit was made. Soon Borchers with 
letters of explanation from Kuhn, Dvorak, and University representative 
Albert Harding in his pocket, was hitchhiking to the Pine Ridge 
Reservation in Kadota, South Dakota. 

He wanted the colorful regalia of the Sioux for several reasons, not the 
least of which was that the Indians of Illinois shaved the sides of their 
heads and he couldn't quite picture himself or any future Chief Illiniwek 

walking around campus for two or three years with only a scalplock on 
his head. Also, the Illinois Indians were woodland Indians and did not 
wear the dramatic war bonnets of the plains Indians. 

"I also took other letters of introduction to the Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs, which at that time was Mr. W. W. Jermark, and explained to him 
my project," Borchers wrote. "He called in a trader that lived on the 
reservation and they discussed the matter. They, in turn, called in an old 
Indian woman and explained to her what I wanted. I wanted the war suit 
to be made in the old original way. She agreed to undertake the project. " 

On November 8, 1930, the outfit that Borchers ordered first appeared at the Illinois- 
Army game in New York. That costume has been changed four or five times. In 
September of 1982, the present regalia was presented to the University. The current 
rawhide outfit had been sewn by the wife of Frank Fools Crow, the elderly chief of 
the Ogala Sioux tribe of South Dakota. At halftime of a football game, after having 
been flown in from South Dakota on the private plane of a local businessman, Fool's 
Crow made the presentation. There are conflicting reports within the University's 
website as to whether the outfit was donated by Fools Crow or purchased by the 
University. The original eagle feathers in the headdress have been returned to the 
Ogala tribe and replaced with turkey feathers dyed to appear as eagle feathers. 

C. Music 

The music set played during the Chiefs performance consists of portions of three 
separate works. Combined, the works are referred to as the 3 in 1. 

The performance begins at mid-field with the band members in a block "I" formation 
while marching toward the north goal line playing what is called the trio portion 
of Pride of the lllini, composed in 1928 by Karl L. King, a popular composer of 
traditional marching music. The beat of that music is a traditional marching beat. 

As the formation reaches the north end zone, the Chief slips into the center of the 
band members and while he emerges toward midfield he performs his dance as the 
band now in an ILLINI formation plays the trio of the March of the lllini. Composer 
Harry Alford was commissioned by original band director A. A. Harding to write this 
march. The trio portion of the march has a continuous ostinato rhythm, which crowds 

identify with an Indian tom-tom beat. Interestingly, this march was composed in 1922, 
four years before Chief Illiniwek was created. This march reflects the Indian tradition 
existing on the campus prior to the Chiefs arrival. 

At the conclusion of the dance, the Chief stands erect with arms folded high on his 
chest while the band plays Hail to the Orange, the university alma mater written in 
1908 by Howard R. Green. The Illini fans stand during this portion and sing with the 

At the conclusion of Hail to the Orange, the band and the Chief leave the field to the 
beat of the March of the Illini. The entire performance is about four minutes. 

D. The Dance 

John Madigan, the present Chief Illiniwek, submitted the following description of the 
origin and nature of the dance. The submission contains Mr. Madigan's opinions as 
well. Most of his opinions are redacted in this section but his entire submission can be 
found at Trustees' Appendix @ No. 3. 

Fancy dancing 

The halftime performance of the University of Illinois' Chief Illiniwek 
takes its movements from the Native American style of dancing called 
"fancy dancing" or "fancy feather dancing," which is considered the 
brightest and fastest of Native American dance styles. 

Fancy dancing did not originate from any old dance or style. Fancy 
dancing originated as a method of entertaining visitors at reservations in 
the early 1920's and to display aspects of Native culture that were not 
restricted for ceremonial use. The outfit combined the popular bustles of 
traditional dancers and made them larger, brighter, and more exciting 
and added feathers, fluffs, and colors wherever they would fit. Today, 
fancy dancers' regalia contains very intricate feather patterns and colors, 
including neon colors and other eye-catching patterns. Fancy dancing 
belongs to no one tribe - it started in Oklahoma and is now all over the 
country, with some differences in dress and style in the North. 

Fancy Dancers dance much faster than all other styles, and it is 
sometimes freestyle, with dancers doing such wild things as the splits 
and back flips. Many fancy dancers feel that these movements are 
necessary to win the top prizes and cash awards at fancy dancing 

competitions. These movements may be less common due to the level of 
skill required to perform them. 

The dance style is of two types: a basic simple step while dancing 
around the drum and a "contest" step with fast and intricate footwork 
combined with a spinning up and down movement of the body. 

many powwows or grounds where fancy dancing competitions are 

held are athletic fields or similar venues. Fancy dancing troupes travel in 
the Southwest to perform shows for tourists and visitors. 

The Chief dances a fancy dance 

The performance of Chief Illiniwek is very similar to fancy dancing seen 
at powwows today. The basic step in the dance is the double step, which 
has been part of the performance since its inception. The later part of the 
dance involves intricate footwork and fast spinning movements. The 
split jumps and high kicks display the dancer's skill and ability. Just as 
fancy dancing has changed and evolved since the 1920's, so has the 
performance of Chief Illiniwek. There is no fault in either one, since this 
form of dancing was designed as an artistic expression. Artistic 
expression will vary from individual to individual, and different people 
will perform different steps or movements completely different. Certain 
movements in the performance of Chief Illiniwek have stayed the same 
for the sake of consistency from individual to individual. Because the 
role of Chief Illiniwek is considered to be bigger than the individual 
performing, there was a need to be somewhat consistent from year to 
year and from Chief to Chief. The performance of Chief Illiniwek can 
neither be classified as "non-authentic" or "authentic," because it has 
changed and evolved just as fancy dancing has over the past century. 
Would those who argue that Chief Illiniwek's performance and dress are 
not authentic also argue that today's fancy dancers who use neon colored 
feathers and beadwork are not authentic as well? 

Native American influence on the Chief's dance 

The first three individuals who portrayed Chief Illiniwek (Lester 
Leutwiler, Webber Borchers, and William Newton) studied Native 
American dancing (especially fancy dancing) for years before they held 
the role of Chief Illiniwek. They became interested in Native American 
culture through their involvement with Eagle Scouts and they all spent 
time at Ralph Hubbard's summer camp designed to teach and appreciate 
fancy dancing. Leutwiler used the steps and skills that he learned 
through studying Native American dancing to help create the 

performance of Chief Illiniwek. Leutwiler stated, "This performance 
took place at a time when Native Americans in the West were installed 
on reservations and struggling for survival. Many in the area of 
Champaign-Urbana had only heard stories about the. . . . Indians. I 
simply wanted to prove there was another side to the culture that most 
people were unaware of . . . the inspirational side, the beautiful side, the 
meaningful side. "When Webber Borchers traveled to the Pine Ridge 
Reservation during his tenure as Chief Illiniwek, he spent many hours 
with several of the Sioux men on the reservation learning and perfecting 
his dance steps. Upon his departure, they inducted him as an honorary 
tribal member. 


John Madigan, Chief Illiniwek XXXIII 

E. Evolution of Chief Illiniwek 

The performance that began with Leutwiler in 1926 and shaped by Webber Borchers 
became a tradition at U of I athletic contests. In 1957, a moment of great distinction, 
the Chief along with the Illini marching band performed at the second inauguration of 
President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There has been an unbroken string of students 
portraying Chief Illiniwek. All were men with the exception of one woman, Idelle 
Stith-Brooks, who in 1943, was Princess Illiniwek for that one season, reflecting that 
there were fewer able-bodied men to portray the Chief during World War II. None of 
the student Chiefs have been Native Americans. 

Until a serious controversy regarding the continuation of the Chief began in 1989, the 
Chief and Indian references played a prominent role on campus and within the local 
community. The University lettermen were named "Tribe of Illini. "The junior 
honorary society, "Sachem," inducted its members while old members wore Indian 
blankets and smoked peace pipes. According to the amount of their donations, 
contributors are designated by the Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund as members of 
various clubs: Tomahawk Club, Brave Club, Warrior Club, Chief Club, or the Tribal 
Council. In the past, the Chief made personal appearances at parades, fund raising 
events and local community events, sometimes on horseback. 

Merchandising of Chief paraphernalia with the Chief logo (copyrighted in 1981) 
appeared on all sorts of sundry items, the same as the logos of other schools are 
marketed. Unfortunately, some of the products included such things as: toilet seats, 
toilet paper, boxer shorts, and silk panties. Locally, many merchants used Indian 
caricatures and Indian or Chief take-offs to advertise their businesses. The University 
disapproves of these offensive products. Local citizens have pressured merchants to 
eliminate sales of merchandise and the use of advertising linked to Indian caricatures 
or any product deemed to be inappropriate. 

Since 1989 appearances of the Chief have been curtailed gradually. Currently, he 
performs only at halftime of football games, men's basketball games and women's 
volleyball games. Additionally, the Department of Agronomy of the University has 
discontinued as its logo the use of "Squanto," an Indian cartoon caricature. The Chief 
Illiniwek logo no longer appears on University stationery. 

F. Funding for the Chief 

For many years, all costs associated with maintaining the Chief were carried on the 
budget for the University band. At the present time, the costs are included in the 
budget of the athletic department. 

There are no scholarships or tuition waivers awarded to the student Chiefs. The costs 
of maintaining the regalia and providing time for student Chiefs to visit Indian 
reservations are minimal. 


Despite continuous performances by Chief Illiniwek since 1926, the earliest signs of 
protest brought to our attention appeared in 1975. The following excerpt appeared in 
the University yearbook, Illio, in 1975: 


Chief Illiniwek has been hailed as a symbol of University spirit since 
1926. But while thousands have cheered his acrobatic gyrations during 
halftime, others look upon him with disgust. 

"Chief Illiniwek is a mockery not only of Indian customs but also of 
white people's culture," said Bonnie Fultz, Citizens for the American 
Indian Movement (AIM) executive board member. According to Fultz, 
the continued use of Indian history as entertainment degrades the Indian 
and disgraces the white race by revealing an ignorance of tribal cultures. 

"The Illiniwek exhibition is tantamount to someone putting on a parody 
of a Catholic Mass," Norma Linton, Citizens for AIM member and 
visiting anthropology lecturer at the University said. She continued by 
saying that Chief Illiniwek is an inaccurate composite. 

"The Indians within the Illinois area are of a different tribal culture. The 
idea of symbols from several different tribes mashed together angers 
Indians," she added. "They do not want their individual tribal customs 
combined and distorted, but want their traditions to remain separate and 
unique. " 

Mike Gonzalez, the current Chief, said that the only requirement in 
being considered for the position is an eagle spread jump. However, 
Gonzalez felt that Illiniwek is "majestic" and a symbol of fighting spirit. 
"In no way does it degrade the American Indian," Gonzalez said. "I think 
Illiniwek honors the Indian. " 

John Bitzer, Illiniwek from 1970-73, also defended the role. "Other 
university mascots are just caricatures but Illiniwek portrays the Indians 
as they would want to be portrayed. " 

Rep. A. Webber Borchers, R-Decatur, the originator of the costume 
while a student at the University, also spoke in defense of Chief 
Illiniwek. "It's the most outstanding tradition of any university in the 
land, with no intention of disrespect to the Indians," he said. 

University officials have sensed the Chief Illiniwek controversy. The 
symbol of Chief Illiniwek was removed from University stationary this 
year to appease AIM. Everett Kissinger, coordinator of Chief Illiniwek 
and marching band director, was indignant about the controversy. 
"Illiniwek has been a tradition here since 1926, and I don't want you 
people (reporters) opening up a lot of problems about it," he said. 
Kissinger in turn has ordered Gonzalez to avoid radio interviews and 
large-scale publicity about his role as Chief. 

1975 to 1989 

From 1975 to 1989, little attention appears to have been paid to the issue on the 
campus. In 1989, however, student Charlene Teters, a member of the Spokane Tribe, 
began protesting the presence of the Chief at athletic events. Through her efforts, anti- 
Chief protests began on campus. Later, she was joined by national groups of 
American Indian activists which began concerted attempts to eliminate not only the 
Chief, but other school and professional team symbols, mascots, names, logos, etc. , 
that in any way referenced Indians signs or people. The results of these efforts are set 
forth later in this report at Section VII. 

Student Government Association Action 

In October 1989, the Student Government Association (SGA) considered a resolution 
that would have encouraged the elimination of the Chief calling the halftime 
performance "discriminatory. "At that time a "Dial a Vote" promotion among the 
students resulted in a response of 2,002 voting to retain the Chief and 100 voting 
against. At the SGA meeting the resolution was watered down to ask the University to 
study the issue. At the time, both sides claimed victory. However, in March 1991, the 
SGA passed a resolution declaring the Chief Illiniwek performance discriminatory 
and calling for programs for its elimination and for an apology to Native Americans. 

1990 Action by the Board of Trustees 

The unrest caused by the continued anti-Chief demonstrations in 1990 led to a hearing 
by the University Board of Trustees regarding continued use of the Chief. On October 
1 1,1990, the Board heard from Charlene Teters, Faith Smith and a letter from Rev. 
Jesse Jackson offering arguments to abolish the Chief. Heard on behalf of the position 
to retain the Chief were former University trustee Jane Hayes Rader of the Illinois 
Alumni Association, former Chief Illiniwek, William D. Forsyth, Jr. and a letter form 
Donald White. At that time, a 6-1 majority of the Board passed the following motion 
made by Trustee Hahn: 

The tradition of Chief Illiniwek is a rich one and has meaning for the 
students, alumni, and friends of the University of Illinois. For more than 
sixty years, the Chief has been the symbol of the spirit of a great 
university and of our intercollegiate athletic teams, and as such is loved 
by the people of Illinois. The University considers the symbol to be 
dignified and has treated it with respect. His ceremonial dance is done 
with grace and beauty. 

The Chief keeps the memory of the people of a great Native American 
tribe alive for thousands of Illinoisans who otherwise would know little 
or nothing of them. 

I feel that those who view the Chief as a "mascot" or a "caricature" just 
don't understand the Chiefs true meaning to thousands of U of I students 
and alumni - he is the spirit of the Fighting Illini. The tradition of Chief 
Illiniwek is a positive one and I move he be retained. 

The Position of the Peoria Tribe 

In 1995, the Peoria Tribe, the direct descendants of the remnants of the Illini Tribe, 
approved the use of the Chief by the University. At that time, during a WICD (the 
Champaign affiliate of NBC) broadcast, Chief Giles of the Peoria tribe stated: "To say 
that we are anything but proud to have these portrayals would be completely wrong. 
We're proud that the University of Illinois is the major institution in the state, a seat of 
learning, and they are drawing on that background of our having been there. And what 
more honor could they pay us. "As part of that same broadcast Ron Froman, an officer 
in the Peoria Tribe was quoted on the Chief Illiniwek Home Page as saying that the 
protestors do not speak for all Native Americans and certainly not for the Peoria 
Tribe. The Home Page continued that the opinions of the Peoria tribe members should 
bear more weight because they were the only descendants of the Illini. However, on 
April 20, 2000, after the Dialogue Intake Session of April 14, 2000, the Peoria Tribe 
passed a resolution by a vote of 3 to 2 requesting that the University cease the use of 
Chief Illiniwek. 

Hostile Learning Environment? 

In 1993, the Native American Student, Staff and Faculty for Progress (NASSFP) was 
formed on the Urbana campus, in part, to protest the Chief. Members of the 
organization began filing complaints in 1994 with the U. S. Department of Education, 
Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Those complaints alleged that the presence of Chief 
Illiniwek and the use of the name "Fighting Illini" created a hostile learning 
environment for Native Americans resulting in discrimination by the University in 
violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Further the complaints alleged 

that the University officials did not respond appropriately to the concerns of the 

OCR investigated those complaints and conducted an independent survey of Native 
American students. Based on its entire investigation, OCR reported to the University 
on November 30, 1995: 

The alleged specific incidents of harassment, especially those of which 
the University had notice, were not proven to be sufficiently severe, 
persistent or pervasive so as to establish a racially hostile environment. 
Most were isolated and not recent, having occurred between 1989 and 
1992. Furthermore, there was insufficient corroborating evidence of 
most of these incidents. 

Although the Chief Illiniwek symbol, logo, and the name "Fighting 
Illini" are offensive to the complainants and others interviewed by OCR, 
"offensiveness," in and of itself, is not dispositive in assessing a racially 
hostile environment claim under Title VI, particularly in light of the First 
Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

The entire report is found at Trustees' Appendix @ No. 4. As part of the Dialogue, a 
legal memo was submitted alleging that under the law, the presence of Chief Illiniwek 
does create a hostile learning environment. Because of the length of that legal memo it 
is not included in theTrustees' Appendix but can be found as No. 17741 in the General 
Submissions. No attempt will be made in this report to set forth the legal arguments 
on each side of the issue. 

Legislative Action 

In 1996, State Representative Rick Winkel, a University of Illinois alumnus, 
introduced a bill in the Illinois House of Representatives. That bill as introduced and 
passed by the legislatureprovided: 

Consistent with a long-standing, proud tradition, the General Assembly 
hereby declares that Chief Illiniwek, is and shall remain, the honored 
symbol of a great University, the University of Illinois at Urbana- 

After an amendatory veto by Governor Jim Edgar, the bill became law effective June 
1, 1996. The amendatory veto changed the "shall remain" to "may remain" to let the 
issue remain a University decision. (See, 110 ILCS 305/lf. ) 

In Whose Honor? 

In 1997, a documentary entitled "In Whose Honor?" appeared on PBS. Written and 
produced by Jay Rosenstein, a 1982 University of Illinois graduate and now an 
assistant professor in the U of I Department of Journalism, the film had a definite anti- 
Chief point of view. At the beginning of the film, the following quote appears on the 

It has ever been the way of the white men in relation to the Indian, first, 
to sentimentalize him as a monster until he has been killed off, and 
second to sentimentalize him in retrospect as the noble savage. 

James Gray, "The Illinois" 1940 

The primary focus of the film was anti-Chief activist Charlene Teters. The film 
showed clips of Ms. Teters during the various stages of her efforts to eliminate Chief 
Illiniwek and Indian logos, etc. used by other schools and professional teams. 

During the documentary the following statements were made: 

1 . Chief Illiniwek should be eliminated, just as black face entertainers and Frito 

Bandito have disappeared. 

2. The performance is a distortion of a religious ceremony. 

3. The Chief music is "Hollywood Indian" whereas American Indian music sounds 

like a heartbeat. 

4. In 1989, then U. S. Senator Paul Simon signed an anti-Chief petition. 

5. In 1989, Chancellor Morton Weir, while supporting the Chief, caused the 

University to cease using Indian caricatures, and he ordered that the "I" 
painted on the Chiefs chin be removed. 

6. Despite the University of Illinois' elimination of caricatures, other schools used 

Indian caricatures on their campus on football weekends when Illinois 

was the opponent, at times showing them hanging in effigy, to the insult 
of Native American students and visitors. 

7. The Universities of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa passed resolutions refusing to 

schedule teams with Indian logos except to comply with Big Ten 

8. In 1994, UIUC Chancellor Aiken formed a committee to report on how the 

University might make the campus more inclusive. Though part of a 
preliminary draft, reference to the Chief was dropped from the final 

9. The University of Illinois loves a manufactured Chief. 

10. The University must listen to people who say "ouch. " 

U of I trustees Susan Gravenhorst and Thomas Lamont were interviewed by 
Rosenstein and portions of their interviews asserting their pro-Chief positions 
appeared in the film. Recently, at the July 20, 2000 meeting of the Board of Trustees, 
they were two of the three trustees casting votes opposing the appointment of Jay 
Rosenstein as an assistant professor of journalism. Their objections were based on the 
ground that Rosenstein had been less than honest concerning his true intentions when 
he had approached them. They said that Rosenstein hadtold that the remarks were 
being filmedfor a project connected with his graduate studies. Additionally they stated 
that they had refused to sign waivers when Rosenstein had requested that they do. In 
light of and in support her fellow trustees' statements, Judith Reese also opposed the 

Reaction On Campus 

The 1997 release of the documentary gave rise to increased debate about the Chief on 
the Urbana campus. In 1998, the Faculty-Student Senate passed a resolution by a vote 
of 97 to 29 calling for the end of Chief Illiniwek. Pro-Chief advocates complained of 
what they described as the stacked nature of the proceedings. They observed that only 
126 members of the 250 member senate attended the session. The agreed list of 
speakers, two student pro-Chief and two student anti-Chief, had been enlarged 
without notice to include three additional anti-Chief activists: Charlene Teters, Bill 
Winneshiek and Prof. Brenda Farnell. As to the list of faculty members presented by 

Prof. Stephen Kaufman as favoring the elimination of the Chief, the opposition 
remarked that 695 represented only 36% of the 1900 faculty members. 

Since that time, the following UIUC departments have passed similar resolutions 
calling for the end of the Chief: 



College of Medicine 

Center for African Studies 


Social Work 

School of Life Sciences 

Senate Committee on Equal Opportunity 



School of Life Sciences 

Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences 
Counseling Center 

The following UIUC organizations have joined the protest with similar 

Red Roots 

Asian- American Association 
American Indian Studies Network 
Alpha Kappa Delta 

Black Organizations Joint Petition 
Latino/a Studies Program 
La Casa Cultural Latina 

Native American Students, Staff and Faculty for Progress 
Union of Professional Employees 
Counseling Center Staff 
Episcopal Church Foundation 
Asian/Pacific American 

Center for African Studies Advisory Association Committee 

African American Cultural Program 

Central Black Student Union 

Mariama3 1 . Ewezo 

Black Greek Council 

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority 

Phi Rho Eta Fraternity 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority 

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity 

Sigma Gamma Rho 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority 

Men of Impact 

Muslin Student Association 

Native American Student Organization 

Palestinian Student Organization 
Hillel Jewish Cultural Center 

Organization for Under-Represented Scientists 

Pandora's Rag 

Professional Students for Social Responsibility 
Puerto Rican Student Association 
Rainforest Action Group 

Students for a Real Democracy 
Student-Faculty Senate 
Undergraduate Association of 
University YMCA and University 
Student Anthropologists 
YMCA Student Program Fund 
Women's Studies Program 

In addition to University departments passing resolutions, there has been significant 
individual faculty response. A Swanlund Chair is the most prestigious named chair 
that the University awards. Eleven of the thirteen current professors awarded 
Swanlund Chairs have signed a resolution calling for the retirement of the Chief and 
an end to licensing Native American Indian symbols as representations of the 

Currently, there are nineteen professors appointed as Professor for Advanced Study, 
an honor of high academic distinction. Thirteen of these professors have 
recommended retirement of the Chief. Four of those are included also as Swanlund 
Chairs opposing the Chief. 

A petition signed by 790 faculty members calling for elimination also has been 
forwarded to the Board of Trustees. 

Reportedly, at all times the majority of the Alumni Association has backed the 
continuance of Chief Illiniwek. 

The North Central Association Report 

The North Central Association (NCA) in its regular 10-year evaluation report on 
continuation of accreditation, devoted considerable discussion to the Chief 
controversy. Rather than summarize those references to Chief Illiniwek, those 
references are set forth verbatim in Section VI. While emphasizing that the choice of a 
school symbol is not an issue for accreditation, the report was critical of the manner in 
which the University was addressing the issue. Shortly after the NCA report, the 
Board of Trustees voted to establish the current Dialogue leading to this report. 

Reaction Beyond the Campus 

The controversy has existed and still persists beyond the campus. A number of 
organizations unrelated to the University have issued statements or resolutions 
addressing the issue of the continued use of Indian related sports designations in 
general and the existence of Chief Illiniwek in particular. The National Coalition on 
Racism in Sports & Media (NCRSM) has furnished to the Dialogue the names of 
those 52 organizations (outside of UIUC) and a description of their documents. Some 
of the documents are not specifically directed to Chief Illiniwek, but are included for 
completeness in Trustees' Appendix @No. 5. 

Prof. Stephen Kaufman has submitted a list of 176 organizations which have spoken 
out on the Chief Illiniwek issue. Several of those on that list have been included 
previously in the (NCRSM) submission. The same is true of a list of 14 organizations 
furnished by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. The lists may 
be found in the Trustees' Appendix @ No 6 & No. 7 respectively. 


Rather than summarize the NCA Report, the pertinent references to Chief Illiniwek are set forth 

A. Context for Third-Party Contents 

The North Central Association received over 100 letters, petitions, press releases, and newspaper 
articles protesting the continued use of the school symbol and mascot, Chief Illiniwek. The 
Commission also received a copy of Jay Rosenstein's 1997 public television documentary "In 
Whose Honor?American Indian Mascots in Sports," which focused extensively on the ten-year 
controversy surrounding The Chief. Team members subsequently received several email 
messages and letters from UIUC faculty, students, and other opposing The Chief. No letters in 
support of The Chief were received, and no letters on any other topic were received. 

The team was told during its campus visit that the institution's position is that use of The Chief is 
not an accreditation issue, and so it omitted a discussion of the issue from its self-study. The 
institution informed those who requested its inclusion that the third-party process could be used 
instead. The team agrees that a school mascot per se is not an accreditation issue, but it does feel 
that educational consequences of the policy, tied to NCA criteria, are within the purview of an 
accreditation review. 

During the site visit, team members met with opponents to the school symbol, those in favor of 
its continued use, the Board of Trustees, the President of the University of Illinois, and the 
Chancellor of UIUC. The first two groups included faculty, students, alumni, and community 

The Facts. The facts as the team understands them are as follows: 

(Paragraphs 1 thru 6 of the report relate in summary the history of the Chief and of the 


7. A letter from a distinguished member of the history department argues, as other writers do, 
that: 1) The Chief undermines the educational program of the university by distorting American 
Indian history; 2) The Chief seriously undermines the university's ability to recruit American 
Indian students; 3) The Chief undermines the learning environment of all students by humiliating 
American Indian students. Another letter was from the former president of another Big 10 
institution, who wrote: 

"I know how crucial it is for academic institutions to provide 
leadership in encouraging and affirming diversity. As a result, I am 
writing to urge the North Central Accreditation Association to 

review carefully the negative impact which the current Illinois 
mascot has on building a diverse educational community. I am a 
lifelong supporter of Big 10 athletics. Nevertheless, Chief Illiniwek 
and similar racial caricatures are symbols of discrimination and 
ridicule. They are an anathema to good sportsmanship and to 
building cultural understanding and mutual respect. " 

Many other letters and petitions present similar arguments about why it is time to retire The 

8. Statements made by individual Trustees on the 1997 videotape following the 1990 resolution: 
1) The Chiefs dance and demeanor are dignified and inoffensive; 2) The Chief is not meant to be 
offensive and so therefore should not offend. 

9. On March 9, 1998, the Faculty-Student Senate of UIUC passed a resolution to end the 
tradition of the Chief. 

10. In March, 1998, the Anthropology Department wrote to the Board with these concerns: 

"These effects [due to the ongoing presence of the Chief Illiniwek 
symbol] extend to all aspects of our scholarly lives: teaching, 
service, and research. Several critical areas deserve attention. The 
Chief: (i) Promotes inaccurate conceptions of the Native peoples of 
Illinois, past and present; (ii) undermines the effectiveness of our 
teaching and is deeply problematic for the academic environment 
both in and outside of the classroom; (iii) creates a negative 
climate in our professional relationships with North American 
communities that directly affects our ability to conduct research 
with and among Native American people; and (iv) adversely 
affects the recruitment of Native American students and faculty 
into our university and department. " 

B. Evaluation of the Third-Party Comments 

The team followed the Commission's directive on Third-Party Comments: Avoid trying to 
resolve the validity of individual comments; instead determine whether the comments raise 
substantive issues relevant to the institution 's ability to meet the GIRs and Criteria. The team 
wishes to emphasize at the outset, however, that it does not believe that the choice of a school 
symbol is an issue for accreditation. Nor is the existence of campus controversy necessarily an 
accreditation issue. Rather, the team sought to analyze all of the issues surrounding the 
controversy in relation to the General Institutional Requirements and the Criteria for 
Accreditation. The team has found that the comments do raise substantive issues relative to 
communication and governance which are explicated below. 

Regarding policy, in 1978 the University of Illinois Board issues the following statement: 

"Resolved by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois 
that it reaffirms its commitment and policy (a) to eradicate 
prohibited and invidious discrimination in all its forms; (b) to 
foster programs within the law which will ameliorate or eliminate, 
where possible, the effects of historical discrimination. . . " 

This statement is found in various University publications. 

Another statement is found in the Commission's 1991 Statement on Access, Equity, and 

". . . regardless of specific institutional practices, the Commission 
expects an institution to create and maintain a teaching and 
learning environment that supports sensitivity to diverse 
individuals and groups. Further, the Commission expects an 
affiliated institution to . . . [teach] students and faculty alike to see 
in proper perspective the differences that separate and the 
commonalities that bind all people and cultures. " 

Another principle is found in UIUC's strategic plan, A Framework for the Future: 

"First, we invest in people: the people who constitute our campus 
community, at all levels, represent an increasingly diverse 
population,. . . Diversity may challenge accepted wisdom, and may 
lead to the re-examination of long-held values. Such debates are 
welcome on this campus, for they are valuable features of 
intellectual life. We are committed to conducting them in ways that 
promote and preserve freedom and civility of action and speech. . . 


Certainly, the institution has the right and the responsibility to establish policy, including policies 
about The Chief. The team notes, however, that it also has adopted a policy against invidious 
discrimination. "Invidious" means "tending to arouse ill will, animosity, or resentment. "This has 
been the hallmark of the controversy over The Chief. In reconsidering its policy on The Chief, 
the institution should take into account the fact that to be accredited means to be a member of the 
North Central Association, i. e. the policies of the Board should be generally consistent with the 
policies of the Association, including the Statement on Access, Equity, and Diversity. 

Moreover, there is no doubt in the team's mind that the continued controversy is having a 
negative effect on the educational effectiveness of UIUC. Ample testimony was received from 
individual faculty and relevant academic departments about how their missions and programs 
were negatively affected by The Chief. The team did not find the evidence it hoped to see that 
the institution has plans to deal with the negative effects of The Chief on educational 

Under its Criterion Five, the Commission speaks to institutional integrity. By "integrity," the 
Commission means that the institution adheres to its own ethical values as adopted through 

institutional policies and procedures. The Commission does not seek to prescribe any single set 
of principles for all institutions. As was noted above, the institution has adopted a statement of 
ethical principles with respect to discrimination, and to the team's knowledge, has not articulated 
why its policy on The Chief is in keeping with this statement. 

In summary, the considerable evidence on this subject leads the team to these conclusions: 

1. The use of The Chief is an educational issue. 

2. The controversy surrounding The Chief will not go away. 

3. The institution appears not to be addressing the issue in a manner consistent with some of the 

policies and principles of its Board, its own strategic plan, the Commission. 

4. It is the responsibility of the leadership of the institution to create the environment that will 

allow for resolution of the controversy in a manner consistent with the principles 
of the North Central Association and the goals of the University of Illinois at 

The teams wishes to emphasize, however, that it is not advocating a particular outcome, nor does 
it believe that "resolution" means that all interested parties are satisfied with the outcome. The 
role of the team is to point out to the institution and to the North Central Association any 
discrepancies it has found between the way in which the institution is handling the controversy 
and the principles of accreditation. The team returns to this subject in Section VIII. 

* * * 


Recognizing the exemplary quality of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its 
many achievements, the recommendation of the team is to continue UIUC on a regular decennial 
review cycle (with two stipulations justified below), because it easily meets or surpasses the 
General Institutional Requirements and the Criteria for Accreditation. 

The team considered whether the issue discussed in Section V are of sufficient magnitude to 
overshadow the otherwise outstanding record of UIUC. As was stated earlier in this report, the 
team does not consider the use of The Chief, nor the concomitant controversy, to be accreditation 
issues by themselves. The team is concerned, however, about the governance of the institution in 
this respect and about the methods the institution has used to address the controversy. While 
these difficult issues ultimately must be solved internally, the team's role is to call attention to the 
need for urgency in changing the institution's methods of addressing the issues now. Without 
greater focused efforts to resolve the issue, the team is convinced that the University's laudable 
goals to create and maintain a diverse educational community will be difficult to achieve. Thus, 
the team recommends that a progress report be filed with the Commission by January 1, 2001, 
delineating the processes that the institution has initiated to prepare for a focused visit on the 

issues surrounding The Chief. The team recommends that the focused visit be conducted in 

During the focused visit, the team recommends that the institution present 
convincing Intra-institutional communication and shared governance : The 
institution should show that all relevant constituencies have been allowed to 
engage fully in discussion, and that the reasons for decisions reached have been 
fully articulated to all interested parties. In particular, the institution should 
address the educational impact of the continued use of The Chief. 

Consistent policies . The institution should resolve what appears to many, both 
within and outside of the University, to be inconsistencies between its exemplary 
diversity policies and practices, and its policies regarding The Chief. The team 
emphasizes again that it does not believe that The Chief per se is an accreditation 
issue. It is incumbent upon any public institution, however, to articulate the 
rationale for its policies, especially when they are in apparent contradiction with 
each other. 

In the progress report, the institution should show that it has defined and begun executing a 
process for addressing the issues surrounding The Chief. 


Many schools and educational organizations have addressed the issue of Indian logos or 
references with regard to team names. There has been a long list of universities and colleges that 
have changed their logos, mascots or names. That list, together with school-related organizations 
speaking out on the subject, is included below: 

Dartmouth- "Indians" to "Big Green" 

Marquette University retired "Willie Wampum" mascot and later changed name from 
"Warriors" to "Golden Eagles" 

Stanford - "Indians" to "Cardinal" 

Dickinson State (North Dakota) - "Savages" to "Blue Hawks" 
University of Oklahoma retired "Little Red" mascot 
Syracuse University retired "Saltine Warrior" 

Southern Oregon University ceased using Indian depictions to promote its "Red Raiders" 

Sienna College (Loudonville, New York) - "Indians" to "Saints" 

The National Education Association passed two resolutions denouncing the use of ethnic- 
related sports team mascots, symbols and nicknames 

Eastern Michigan University - "Huron" to "Eagles" 

Simpson College - "Redmen" and "Lady Reds" to "Thundercats" 

State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issues directive "strongly urging" 
discontinuance of use in all Wisconsin schools of American Indian-related 

Hartwick College (Oneconto, New York) - "Warriors" to "Hawks" 
St. Johns University (New York) - "Redmen" to "Redstorm" 
Miami of Ohio - "Redskins" to "Redhawks" 
Adams State (Colorado) - "Indian" to "Grizzly" 

Southern Nazarene University (Oklahoma) - "Redskins" to "Crimson Storm" 

NCAA committee reports that "Indian mascots that use Indian caricatures and mimic 
ceremonial rites do not comply with the NCAA's commitment to ethnic student 
welfare. " 

Oklahoma City University - "Chiefs" to "Stars" 

Hendrix College (Arkansas) retires Indian head logo but retains "Warriors" nickname 
Seattle University - "Chieftains" to "Red Hawks" 

We are aware of three other Division I schools in addition to the U of I that have retained their 
Indian references: Florida State (Seminoles); North Dakota (Fighting Sioux): and San Diego 
State (Aztecs with mascot Montezuma). 

Florida State University 


While Florida State College began as a women's college, in 1947 it became coed and was 
renamed Florida State University (FSU). At that time, the school conducted a campus-wide 
contest to select a name for its athletic teams. "Seminoles" was the winning entry. 

In 1975, in consultation with Chief Howard Tommie, then chairman of the Seminole Tribe of 
Florida, FSU created Osceola, a portrayal of an Indian who charges onto the football field on 
horseback at the beginning of home football games. Osceola ends his charge by throwing a 
flaming lance at midfield. Osceola appears only at home football games and at the homecoming 
parade. The Seminole Tribe designed the costume worn by Osceola. Historically, Osceola was a 
Seminole leader who was captured by Federal troops in the battle to move the Seminoles from 
Florida to the unoccupied land west of the Mississippi. After dying while in captivity, he remains 
honored by the Seminoles to this day. 

The student who rides as Osceola is selected by the owner of the horse and not the University. In 
addition, to perpetuate the tradition after the owner's death, he has established a trust fund for the 
replacement and care of the horses. 

The Seminole Tribe participates in many University functions. The present Chief has given 
concerts at the University in his native language. Each year, a homecoming Chief and Princess 
are elected by the student body. At halftime of the homecoming football game, a Princess and 
Junior Princess from the Seminole Tribe crown the student Chief and Princess with headdresses 
designed and made by the Seminoles. A tribal chant has been presented to the University but has 
proven difficult for the crowds to perform. 

Florida law provides for a college scholarship fund for the benefit of members of the Seminole 
and Miccosukee Tribes. The scholarship committee honors the recommendations of the tribes as 
to who should be the recipients of the scholarships. 

National native American groups have opposed the use of Seminoles as the FSU nickname. For 
those protestors opposing the use of the name and who routinely picket FSU home football 
games, the school provides a secure place for them to picket. Interestingly, there has been no 
vocal protest of the use of Osceola. 

The following article, found on the FSU website, is informative: 

Seminoles - Heroic Symbol at Florida State 
By Dr. Dale W. Lick 

Former President, Florida State University 

The history of the Seminole Indians in Florida is the story of a noble, brave, 
courageous, strong and determined people who, against great odds, struggled 
successfully to preserve their heritage and live their lives according to their 
traditions and preferences. 

From its earliest days as a university, Florida State has proudly identified its 
athletic teams with these heroic people because they represent the traits we want 
our athletes to have. Other athletic teams are called Patriots or Volunteers in the 
same way - they use a symbol that represents qualities they admire. 

Recent critics have complained that the use of Indian symbolism is derogatory. 
Any symbol can be misused and become derogatory. This, however, has never 
been the intention at Florida State. 

Over the years, we have worked closely with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to 
ensure the dignity and propriety of the various Seminole symbols we use. Chief 
Osceola, astride his Appaloosa when he plants a flaming spear on the 50-yard 
line, ignites a furious enthusiasm and loyalty in thousands of football fans, but 
also salutes a people who have proven that perseverance with integrity prevails. 

Some traditions we cannot control. For instance, in the early 1980's, when our 
band, the Marching Chiefs, began the now-famous arm motion while singing the 
"war chant," who knew that a few years later the gesture would be picked up by 
other team's fans and named the "tomahawk chop?"It's a term we did not choose 
and officially do not use. 

Our university's goal is to be a model community that treats all cultures with 
dignity while celebrating diversity. 

I have appointed a task force to review our use of Seminole Indian symbols and 
traditions. This study group will identify what might be offensive and determine 
what needs to be done. 

Our good relationship with the Seminole Tribe of Florida is one we have 
cultivated carefully and one we hope to maintain, to the benefit of both the 
Seminoles of our state and university. 

Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman James E. Billie expressed the point in these 
words: "We are proud to be Seminoles, and we are proud of the Florida State 
University Seminoles. We are all winners. " 

(from USA Today, Tuesday, May 18, 1993; 

University of North Dakota 
"Fighting Sioux" 

In contrast to the lack of any significant campus controversy at FSU, the University of North 
Dakota (UND) is engaged currently in a process very similar to the U of I's Dialogue. >From 
news accounts, the mood of the campus protests at that campus in Grand Forks is far more 
heated than at the Urbana campus. Among the several reasons for the difference is that there are 
more Native American students at UND than at U of I. Additionally, most of the Native 
American students at UND are from tribes other than Sioux. 

At UND, the issue of the retention of the nickname is considered to be an administrative issue 
and as such is being handled by the president of the university. Since 1971 three different 
presidents of the university have dealt with the issue. Betweenl971 and 1992, during the tenure 
of President Thomas Clifford, several Indian-related issues were addressed. These issues 
included elimination of caricatures, development of Indian Studies, and the establishment of 
various support programs for Indian students. As he was retiring from his presidency, President 
Clifford's last public statement on the use of the name and symbol was: "I just don't see the 
reason for changing it right now. The very leaders of the Sioux Nation supported that. When the 
leaders of the Sioux Nation come and tell me they don't want it, I'll respect that. " 

From 1992 through 1999 under President Kendall Baker's administration, steps were taken to get 
more Indian input into the broad issues of Indian relations. However, the controversy over the 
nickname and the question of the elimination of the school's Blackhawk emblem escalated. In 
February, 1999, President Baker made his last public statement on the issue: 

A controversy over the use of the Sioux team name was among the first issues 
that faced me when I came to North Dakota in 1992. After much conversation and 
consultation, it was my conclusion that there was no consensus on this issue, not 
even among Native Americans. I decided, therefore, that the respectful use of the 
team name should continue and, indeed, that the appropriate use of the name 
could be a positive influence in helping UND encourage respect and appreciation 
for diversity in all of its forms. Although some individuals disagreed with me 
then, as they do today, this remains my position on the issue. 

In closing, let me be very clear: Although the approach UND took regarding the 
team name was and is, in my view, an appropriate one, I also have stated on 
numerous public occasions that the issue remains on the agenda for dialogue, 
discussion, and learning. 

On July 1, 1999, the term of UND president, Charles E. Kupchella, began. The protests not only 
have continued but have escalated to the point that there are safety concerns on campus. At the 
beginning of the spring semester, President Kupchella announced plans to work with the 

University Senate and the Strategic Planning Committee in the formation of a group to examine 
the issues raised by the controversy and make recommendations to him on its resolution. 

Shortly after that announcement, President Kupchella formed the committee with the faculty 
representative to the NCAA as chair. In addition, the committee includes two former North 
Dakota state governors, a retired Colorado Supreme Court justice, representatives from the 
alumni association, Native American groups, Native American students, faculty members, and 
athletes. The committee has met several times and a report may be forthcoming very soon. 
However, the president has reserved the right to make the final decision himself. 

As part of the discussion process at UND, a historical and contextual summary has been prepared 
by an assistant to the president. That summary can be found at: The university has invited 
comments from readers interested in the UND debate. The report on the web site is edited from 
time to time to reflect any of those corrections and additions. For the convenience of the U of I 
Board of Trustees, a copy of the UND's current updated report is being submitted with this report 
as Trustees' Appendix @ No. 8. 

San Diego State University 
"Aztecs" and "Monty Montezuma'' 

San Diego State University (SDSU) finds itself similarly involved in a designation controversy 
as exists on the Urbana campus and at UND. The sports teams have used the name Aztecs for 75 
years. The cheerleading mascot, Monty Montezuma, is named for Montezuma II, the ruler of the 
Aztec empire in the 16 th century. 

At a September 27, 2000 meeting of the school's Associated Students Council, a resolution to 
retire the Aztec name, logo and the mascot passed by a vote of 22 - 8 - 1. Additionally, the 
resolution called for more course offerings about languages and cultures of indigenous peoples 
of America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Philippines. Further, the resolution calls for the 
Associated Students Council to form an ad hoc committee to create a new name and mascot and 
report to the president of the University by the Spring of 2001. 

The resolution now will go to the University Senate for its consideration. However, final 
determination will be made by University President Stephen Weber. He has indicated that he will 
consider the opinions of the 30,000 students, 180,000 alumni and the San Diego residents at 
large. In the meantime, the name and the mascot will remain. 


A. Tradition 

The Chief's value as a tradition outweighs other factors; he is not racist, he is a nostalgic 
link for alumni of the University and a focal point for school pride and spirit, both laudable 

Many anti-Chief protestors concede that the people supporting the Chief have good intentions. 
What were and are those intentions? At the time of the creation of the Chief football coach Bob 
Zuppke referred to Illiniwek as exemplifying "the complete human being-the strong, agile human 
body, the unfettered human intellect, the indomitable human spirit. "Surely, the initial concept of 
Chief Illiniwek was nothing but highly honorable and respectful. Whether or not Zuppke's image 
was accurate, or the character and performance selected to convey that image was authentic, 
makes little difference to the Chiefs supporters because the desired honorable message and 
intention have been delivered successfully for so many years until this relatively recent 

While the performance of the Chief has remained somewhat constant, the University has made 
an effort to remove those practices that might be viewed as disrespectful or abusive of that initial 
image and intention. Thus, through the years, a tradition of the Chief has developed that deserves 
its own history and respect. Many alums and fans have taken this performance with its tradition 
as a bond to the University and a reminder of their positive experiences on campus. The 
performance has existed for the better part of a century, most of which has been without 

This year the Chief Illiniwek Educational Foundation produced a movie entitled, The Chief. The 
history and tradition of the Chief are told primarily by the use of old film clips and statements 
from former students who have portrayed the Chief through the years. While most of the factual 
accounts have been set forth in this report previously, the theme of the production sets forth how 
the Chief Illiniwek tradition is regarded by his great number of followers: 

The Chief represents everything good about the University of Illinois; 

He is a link to our great past; 

He is a tangible symbol of an intangible spirit filled with qualities a person of any 
background can aspire to: goodness, strength, bravery, truthfulness, courage, and dignity; 

He is all men; 

He is every man. 

The pro-Chief supporters insist that the above elements of the Chief tradition are not 
racist. Webster's Dictionary defines racism as: 

1. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial 

differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 

2. racial prejudice or discrimination. 

Under the first definition of racism, the Chief is racist only to the extent that the Indian is 
perceived as a higher quality of human than others. Thus, it is argued that the Indians should be 
proud that the University seeks to honor those perceived traits. Additionally, under the second 
definition, the elevation of the Indian does not show a prejudice against him nor a discrimination. 

Those people who through these many years have experienced the chills, goose bumps and tears 
during the Chiefs performances, argue that the tradition itself should be respected. They feel that 
suddenly we are not to revisit those decades of tradition and somehow re-label as dishonorable 
the intentions of those who have portrayed the Chief and those who have celebrated the 

The vast majority of people familiar with the Chief admire him and they demonstrate this 
admiration by standing when he performs. His performance is combined with the singing 
of the University's alma mater. 


Enjoy it and appreciate it. 

Seeing Chief is like a religious experience. 

I get chills up and down my spine. 

I get goose bumps. 

I get a tear in my eye. 

Not racist when people view it in respect. 

Inspires me to be involved in Indian affairs. 

Native Americans and those familiar with Native American culture can best determine 
whether a depiction of Native American culture is offensive or insulting; others cannot 
fully appreciate the significance and effects caused by the Chief. 


Listen to us when we say "ouch. " 

There is no respect for the Indian when you do not listen. 

If you have respect for a person and you do something that hurts that person, and 
you are asked to stop, then you stop. Continued use after protest is humiliating. 

To have anyone else (non-native people) make the decision would give the message that 
we still believe Native Americans to be an inferior people whose opinion is unimportant 
and unnecessary. 

The Chief was created as a personification of the name OIllinois.6 The OlllinoisO (or the 
OllliniO) were a confederacy of Native American peoples that inhabited southern 
Wisconsin, northern Illinois and parts of eastern Iowa and Missouri; that intent continues, 
and to ensure this, the University has attempted to restrict the uses of the Chief to avoid 
disrespectful uses, such as placing the Chief's emblem on toilet paper; the University will 
continue to be diligent in this effort. 


He draws me closer to other cultures 

He is peaceful 

He is dignified 

It is respectful 

The existence/non-existence of a sports symbol lies within the discretion of the University, 
which should not be subject to the outspoken views of a few detractors. 


Organized objections are relatively recent and appear to be learned responses. 

Objections are motivated only by political correctness. 

Attitudes about the Chief should be changed by education rather than protest. 

OSymbolsO and OmascotsO should unite and not divide people; encouraging them to 
support common goals, etc. The Chief fails in this. His presence is divisive, not unifying, 
and that divisiveness has grown over time. 

Action by Board of Trustees in 1990 did not end controversy. 

Recognizing the problems associated with the use of Native American designations, logos 
and mascots, many other institutions long ago ceased using them. The trend of elimination 
of these items continues. 

Pro-Chief people will lose nothing if Chief is retired. 
Pain of losing Chief is not as lasting as pain of racism. 

B. Stereotype 

The Chief is based on a racist and stereotypical image of American Indians; moreover, the 
fact that it is a static portrayal of that group creates and fosters a one-dimensional image of 
all of its members. 

Webster's defines "stereotype" as it relates to this issue as "a standardized mental picture that is 
held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, effective 
attitude or uncritical judgment. " 

To the critics of the Chief, he is a one-dimensional creation depicting an Illini chief as a 
centuries-old, Sioux-outfitted, dancing, plains Indian. This corresponds to the image that comes 
to mind for most Americans who have gained their knowledge of Indian lore through Hollywood 

Critics of the Chief argue that the European Americans idealized the simple and, what they 
regarded as, noble life of the American Indian in this fertile American paradise. Once the 
Europeans sought the land that the Indians occupied, the image of the native changed to that of 
the savage Indian who attacked the peaceful settlers. After the Indian was conquered, the brave, 
noble and resourceful image of the Indian was restored. 

The image did not remain that simple. The treatment of the American Indians and how the 
newcomers dealt with the natives' customs contributed to the present image to which many 
Indians object. During the nineteenth century, the policy of the U. S. government was to remove 
the Indians from the desirable lands and then by converting them to Christianity, the Indians' 
religions and customs, perceived by the government to be heathen and immoral, would be 
eliminated. The Civilization Act of 1819 called for the active destruction of Indian religions. 
Every effort was made to discourage their use of their language and to end their cultural 
practices, especially their dances, which were considered heathen, warlike or immoral. In 1885, 
an Indian convicted of participating in certain traditional dances could have his rations withheld 
for up to ten days for a first offense and for a subsequent offense, he could be imprisoned for 30 

In 1890, Indians, at various Sioux reservations in the Dakotas, were observed performing the 
Ghost Dance. That dance, performed at a frenzied beat, was a cult dance with an anti- white 
theme that prayed for a return of the Indians' land so that they could live in their old way. Agents 
for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, fearing for their lives, called upon the U. S. Army for 

After the army arrived, soldiers attempted a capture of then-Chief Sitting Bull who was killed 
during that attempt. Chief Big Foot, who was thought to be the next target, sought refuge at the 
Pine Ridge reservation. A battle ensued wherein hundreds of men, women and children were 
killed at the battle of Wounded Knee, said to be the last battle of the Indian wars. The victorious 
army captured thirty "ringleaders" and confined them at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. This 
imprisonment was meant to keep these men removed from the reservation to prevent the 
resumption of the Ghost Dances and any conflict that might thereby result. 

At the same time, Buffalo Bill Cody was conducting his popular Wild West Shows worldwide. 
He came to various reservations recruiting Indians to join his troupe. This practice was received 
with mixed reaction both in and out of the Indian community. Some Indians regarded those who 
signed on to be traitors who would be corrupted by the white man's habits. Some white settlers 

opposed the plan because it helped to perpetuate Indian customs that they were attempting to 
eradicate. Other Indians and settlers saw the employment as an opportunity for the Indians to rise 
from poverty. 

When Buffalo Bill visited Chicago, he and the army general in charge of the prisoners struck a 
deal whereby prisoners were given an option of signing on with Buffalo Bill to become show 
Indians in exchange for their release from custody. Twenty-three prisoners opted for release and 
employment as show Indians traveling and performing world wide with Buffalo Bill. 

Anti-Chief proponents point out that while it was illegal for Indians to perform their rituals on 
the reservations, it was deemed proper to engage in those very practices for the profit of the Wild 
West shows. In addition, at the time of the creation of Chief Illiniwek in 1926,forms of Indian 
dancing still remained banned on the reservations. It was not until the Indian Reorganization Act 
of 1934 that those restrictions were abolished. Thus, the dance of Chief Illiniwek being 
performed by a white man is said to be a reminder to American Indians that in the past, their own 
tribal dancing by their ancestors had led to their imprisonment and even their death. 

The Wild West shows leaned heavily on the portrayal of the plains Indian, mainly the Sioux. The 
popularity of the Wild West shows stamped that image in the minds of the non-Indian public. 
The Hollywood western quickly and easily adopted that same Sioux Indian image perpetuated by 
Buffalo Bill. Thus, for the majority of Americans, that image remains today. The anti-Chief 
advocates assert that the popular image that is held by the majority of the public meets the 
definition of a stereotype. That stereotype is often referred to by non-Indians when they 
encounter Indians for the first time leading to insulting comments about Indians whooping and 
dancing. Indian children are said to be particularly singled out for ridicule by other children in 
this regard. 

Anti-Chief advocates lament the fact that many Indians themselves have contributed to the very 
image that the protesters wish to be eliminated. Today, it is not uncommon for Indians, for profit, 
to perform their dances for the entertainment of the general public. Additionally, Indian 
gambling casinos often are advertised with Indians in tribal dress and sometimes even advertised 
with unflattering Indian caricatures. 

Native American protestors of Chief Illiniwek urge that they do not wish to be stereotyped even 
if that stereotype is intended to be a positive one. Their position is that world class universities 
have a responsibility to foster accurate perceptions of cultural minorities rather than perpetuating 
fallacies. They assert that every Asian should not be viewed as being a math whiz; every 

African- American should not be viewed as an athlete; and every American Indian should not be 
viewed as a proud, brave, noble, dancing and whooping plainsman. 

Native Americans find the Chief to be offensive and insulting; his existence trivializes their 
struggles and dehumanizes them. 


Ridicules our race 

Leads to derogatory statements and gestures 

U. S. policy of removal of Indians in 19 th Century and early 20 th Century would 
be considered ethnic cleansing today. 

Elimination of Indian names and symbols from modern American culture will not serve to 
remedy the wrongs perpetrated in the past. 


Anti Chief movement seeks to make victims of present day Indians and foster guilt for 
past grievances. 

Retiring a positive stereotype of an American Indian will worsen plight, Only negative 
stereotypes of Indians may remain. 

This decision should not be made on basis of group claiming to be insulted; rather it should 
be on the basis of whether anyone should be insulted. 


Feeling of the members of the borrowed culture should not be the norm of morality for 
the borrowing culture. 

It seems oddly inappropriate to assign a moral value to a cultural influence. 
The Chief is an unauthorized and inappropriate use of sacred, religious items: 

D dance 

D headdress 
D face paint. 

In addition, the costume is an inaccurate depiction of the Illini since it is Ogala Sioux, not 


The right to wear eagle feathers had to be earned by the warriors. 

"Hollywood Indian" — referring to the music at halftime 

Indian music is like a heartbeat. 

Chiefs with long feather bonnets did not dance. 

False solemn occasion 

Inaccurate sacred dance 

Authenticate or abolish. 

Chief Illiniwek's dance and costume are not sacrilegious because they are akin to Native- 
American fancy dancing at pow-wows. 


White people often dance at pow-wows. 

American Indians travel and compete in fancy dancing contests and their routines 
may include back flips, high kicks, and splits. 

Chief Illiniwek is a symbol taken from Native American cultures by predominantly Anglo 
people; there has been a clear appropriation. 


To misuse the Chief primarily for athletic and entertainment purposes dishonors the cultures 
from which he has been appropriated. 

The Chiefs performance, not necessarily meant to be authentic, is an art form protected by 
the First Amendment right of free speech. 


(One speaker in criticizing the Anti-Chief resolution passed by the Department of 

One would think that the very first to step forward in defending a form of 
expression would be the English department of a university. Other expressions of 
art said to be racist or sexist: Mein Kamp; Huckleberry Finn; To Kill a 
Mockingbird; Tom Sawyer; The Grapes of Wrath. Some groups seeking to 
remove Chief seek to remove these other works. 

The group most closely linked to the Illini tribe, the Peoria Tribe, have urged the 
University to retire the Chief. 

C. Effect on Campus 

The Chief has a negative impact on the reputation, educational mission, and financial well 
being of the University: 

-the University is viewed by many as insensitive to the rights of Native Americans; 

-various departments have found it difficult to recruit faculty (e.g.; Anthropology, 

D some members of the Big Ten conference, such as the Universities of Iowa, Wisconsin 
and Minnesota, have resolved not to compete in athletic events against teams with 
OmascotsO like the Chief, and do so against Illinois only because it is a member of the 

D several organizations have refused to hold or attend meetings at the Urbana campus or 
the University's other campuses, and have advised others not to attend any such meetings; 

D several national organizations have taken a stand against the Chief. 


See the submission by Prof. Brenda Farnell in Trustees' Appendix @ No. 9. 

Both sides are resorting to extortion: alumni supporters who say that they will not 
contribute if the Chief goes; and opponents who will boycott the University if he stays. 

The presence of the Chief presents a racially hostile environment. 


It has not been shown that the Chief creates a racially hostile environment. (See 11/30/95 
decision of the U.S. Dept. of Ed. Office of Civil Rights, which, after a 20-month 
investigation, concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show a racially hostile 

The term "racially hostile environment" is a legal concept used to determine whether 
there has been a violation of the Civil Rights Act. As noted in Section V, no attempt will 
be made to set forth the legal authority in support of these two conflicting arguments. 

The presence of the Chief has led to the OChief controversy,6 which distracts the Urbana 
campus and the University from pursuing other, more important goals. 

Does not achieve goal of a teaching and learning environment 

Does not achieve goal of sensitivity to diverse groups and individuals 

No learning involved-just entertainment 

For the present day students of the University, The Chief provides the beginning of that 
link with the institution that a great majority of the alumni associate with school pride and 

D. General Arguments 

The General Assembly of the State strongly supports the Chief; the University of Illinois 
Act (110 ILCS 305/lf) states that Othe General Assembly hereby declares that Chief 

Illiniwek is, and may remain, the honored symbol of a great university, the University of 
Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. 6 (eff. 6/1/96) Retiring the Chief could have adverse 
consequences in terms of funding and future legislation affecting the University. 

Retiring the Chief could have adverse financial consequences for the University in terms of 
reductions in gifts to the University and lost royalties. 


Both sides are resorting to extortion: alumni supporters who say that they will not 
contribute if the Chief goes; and opponents who will boycott the University if he stays. 

Since the U of I is the flagship public university in the state, the opinions of state residents 
should determine the outcome; most Illinois residents favor retaining the Chief. 

Sun-Times poll-86% favor retention of Chief 
90% of Dad's Association approve 
86% of Mom's Association approve 

As seen in this country and elsewhere, on many social and moral issues, the majority is not 
always correct; thus, the fact that a majority of people do not find the Chief offensive 
should not determine whether the Chief is offensive; the University should take a 
leadership role on this issue. 


This is an ethical question. 

Slavery and male-only voting were traditions. 

The continued presence of the Chief leads and contributes to: 
D an unrealistic view of Native Americans; 

D a hostile environment for Native Americans and other people of color; 

-discrimination against Native Americans and others in the University, local communities, 
and elsewhere. 


Chief does not pass the Rotary test: 
Lis it the TRUTH? 

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL TO ALL? 
Real issue is money. 

The use of Native American words and identities is pervasive throughout our culture; these 
uses range from the names of states and cities to automobiles and other commercial 
products; indeed, the names of the State and University reflect that practice. 


If I was a Native American, I would be proud to be represented by the Chief. 

This is a slippery slope; if the University retires the Chief, then the use of OFighting IlliniO 
and OllliniO would be challenged next. 

The next thing we would have to change is the name of the state. 


Another important function of the Dialogue was the establishment of a method whereby 
members of the general public could express their opinion via U. S. Mail and e-mail. The 
purpose was to gather as many divergent ideas and arguments as possible and to afford members 
of the public an opportunity to be heard. Never was it intended that the responses be considered a 
poll or a contest. 

As time has passed, a great deal of interest has been expressed in a tally of how many favor 
retention of the Chief and how many are opposed. Such statistical results should be viewed with 
caution, and should not be taken as any kind of accurate measure of public opinion. Public 
opinion was not sampled in any scientific way. Because these responses were motivated by a self 
selection process, the results may be skewed. 

Corla Hagenbruch of the office of the Board of Trustees was responsible for handling of the 
tremendous number of items received by the University. Jean Casserly of Cahill, Christian and 
Kunkle, Ltd. (CCK) was in charge of the team that processed the mail once it was received from 
the Board. These two women together with their staffs are to be commended for their efforts 
which were carried out very professionally and efficiently. 

Processing of Dialogue Mail-Box Submissions at UIUC 

A. U. S. Mail 

Hand delivered mail was forwarded to the Office of the Board of Trustees of the University. 
Upon receipt, each piece of mail was counted and the number of letters received per day was 
recorded. All mail received between February 16, 2000and June 12, 2000 was opened and two 
copies of each submission were made. The original letters and one set of copies remain in the 
custody of the Board of Trustees Office. The second copy was forwarded to CCK. 

B. Electronic Mail 

E-mail submissions received between February 16, 2000 through the first week of June were 
similarly opened, counted and recorded on a daily basis. The Trustees' Office printed out a hard 
copy of each e-mail. An additional copy of each print-out was prepared and forwarded to CCK. 
The mail was opened, the envelopes were stapled, address information was highlighted, and 
"Thank You" letters from the Board of Trustees were prepared. 

Processing of Dialogue Mail-Box Submissions at CCK 

Upon receipt of copies of electronic and hand-delivered mail, the CCK staff affixed a numbered 
label to each article of mail. By numbering each document, CCK was able to maintain an 
electronic inventory, allowing it to track the over 18,000 documents received from 
approximately 15,000 individuals. 

Once assigned a number, each submission was entered into an Access database. Information 
captured in the database included each respondent's affiliation with the University, his/her 
position regarding retaining or eliminating The Chief and the method by which the response was 
conveyed. These projects required a staff of three, two of whom worked full time on the project 
for three months. 

The following table reflects the statistical results of the survey. The individual responses have 
yet to be scanned for general publication. While there may be some minor inaccuracies in the 
data base which will be corrected on the web site, the results will not be altered significantly. 


Retain Chief 

Eliminate Chief 




























IL Residents 






General Public 










In reviewing the results, the reader must be mindful of the following: 
1. Multiple entries from the same source weretabulated only once. 

2. Occasionally, e-mail was sent to the Dialogue mail-box in error (e. g. inquiries for 

admission to the University, notifications of e-mail recipients being out of town, 
etc. )In these instances, the submission was noted to be non-responsive and not 

3. On a few occasions, a multi-page submission accidently was given more than one 

number. In each ofthose instances, the submission was counted only once. 

4. On occasion, it was apparent that a particular comment was submitted by someone 

affiliated with the University, but not determinable whether the individual was a 

student, faculty member or employee of the University. In those instances, the 
submission was classified as an employee. 

5. If a person's affiliation was not determinable as a student, faculty member, employee, 

alumni or Illinois resident, the submission was included as part of the general 

6. Despite the best efforts of those involved in the data entry process, we were unable to 

identify every individual submitting an opinion. Some respondents only included 
their e-mail address, some provided only their first name or no name at all, and 
some signatures were indecipherable. In order to insure that every opinion was 
included, when no unique identifying information was available, responses were 
identified as "anonymous" or "illegible" and included in the survey. 

7. As indicated in the survey results, some respondents did not express a definitive 

opinion. Rather, some expressed hope that a compromise might be reached, some 
proposed an alternative, others requested additional information regarding the 
controversy, or complained of the use of time and tax dollars spent on the 
controversy. These responses were included in the survey as either "neutral" or 
"unknown. " 

The Board of Trustees intends to make all of the submissions to the Dialogue mail-box available 
to the public. To accomplish this, certain precautions are being take to protect the privacy of the 
respondents. Signatures, personal address and phone numbers are being redacted from responses 
prior to scanning and subsequent publication. In addition, care is being taken to honor requests 
from individuals who specifically asked that their responses not be made public. Details as to the 
publication and accessibility of this report, the Trustees' Appendix, and General Submissions 
will be released through the office of the Board of Trustees. 


To the relatively uninformed observer of the debate, a compromise solution might 
seem to be reasonable area for discussion. Very little has been submitted to the 
Dialogue regarding the potential conditions for compromise, i. e. , the Chief could 
remain under certain conditions. In seeking input for this report, an attempt was made 
to find persons with authority to spell out terms for such a compromise if in fact some 
discussion of compromise could be made part of this report. 

In selecting speakers to appear at the Intake Session of April 14, 2000, representatives 
from pro and anti-Chief groups were consulted. While discussing the selection and 
priority of anti-Chief proponents with Michael Haney of the American Indian 
Arbitration Institute, the question was asked if there was some middle ground in this 
debate. He indicated that one probably could be fashioned. He was informed that he 
would be questioned about a possible compromise during his speaking portion of the 
public hearing. 

At the morning Intake session, Mr. Haney did not address a possible compromise in 
his prepared remarks. At the conclusion of his presentation there was this colloquy: 

MODERATOR GARIPPO: Mr. Haney, first I want to thank you and 
Miss Ostrovsky and Mr. Wakeland for assisting me in identifying the 
groups here. When you were in my office the other day, you indicated to 
me that there is some middle ground here. And I asked you if you would 
present that, present your proposal today. 

Now, you didn't do it during your address, but I am going to give you 
extra time now to address the issue of where do you think a middle 
ground might be? 

MR. HANEY: Sir, I accept the sentiments of the organization called the 
Red Roots, the Native organization led by Debbie Reese that talked 
about establishing a Native American studies department. (1) I firmly 
support the establishment and endowment of a Native American studies 
chair. I also would like to encourage a scholarship fund be implemented 
to perhaps maybe fund, through the merchandising of the images that the 
University finds so successful marketing our image. We also, we have, 
we have children that would love to come to this University. We would 
identify those. I chair my education committee back home. I would love 
to send my gifted and talented people here. 

You develop, we would offer our resources, offer the consultation of our 
educational officers to help develop a comprehensive education 
improvement program. We also would encourage the development of 
course work and the aggressive improvement of Native students. We 
would join with that if there was a dialogue we can talk, because we 
have never sat down and talked before, sir. We are standing ready to put 

our minds and our resources together to come to a conclusion that 
everyone wants here. 

MODERATOR GARIPPO: As I understand you and Miss Reese, then 
the Chief could stay, that the - if you got these other things that you 
asked for, the Chief could stay and it would be then through the 
educational process that over time you would feel that the Chief would 
die as a result of greater educational opportunities on the campus, is that 

MR. HANEY: Yes, sir. We realize it's been 500 years. We realize that 
the University is a slow learner. But yes, we think they will come to that 

(TV. Intake Session, pp. 48-50) 

Immediately after the above colloquy, a number of anti-Chief people in the audience 
approached Mr. Haney in the rear of the hall. At the noon demonstration outside 
Foellinger Auditorium, Mr. Haney indicated to the crowd that had gathered that there 
could be no compromise. Later, a number of anti-Chief speakers in the afternoon 
session made the point that there could be no compromise. In follow-up telephone 
conversations with Mr. Haney, there was no success in identifying any person or 
group who could be agreed upon to be a representative spokesperson to articulate the 
Indian viewpoint with respect to compromise. 

The above is not to attribute a lack of proposals for compromise solely on the anti- 
Chief forces. Any proposal of compromise likely would include a request for an 
expansion of American Indian studies. The University, rightly or wrongly, has been 
reluctant to commit large sums of money to establish those expensive programs 
requiring tenured professorships without assurance that there will be a sufficient 
demand for those course studies. 

Is there no possibility for discussion of a compromise?Before answering that question, 
we must consider the remarks of Prof. John A. Lynn of the Department of History. 
Most of his submission follows: 

Is Illiniwek Dead? 

Is Illiniwek dead?If so, those who exalt at his demise will cheer as 
fiercely as crowds once welcomed his breaking from the band at 
Memorial Stadium. But whose victory would it be? 

Use of the tribal name 

It is claimed that the very use of a Native American tribal name is an abuse. 
But if the use of tribal names is objectionable, then much of the map of the 
United States will have to be scrapped. No more Kaskaskia, Oswego, Peoria, 
Sauk Village or, for that matter, Illinois itself. On my map of French North 
America, across the territory now included in our state runs the legend "grande 
nation des Illinois," great nation of the Illini. This University embraces as its 
symbol the very tribal confederation after which the state is named. 

Is the dance sacrilegious? 

It is charged that the dance of Illiniwek burlesques Native American 
religion and thus makes Illiniwek forever demeaning. This notion 
derives from the idea that to Native American societies dancing is 
inherently and always religious. But is that in fact true today ?If one pays 
to see Native Americans dance at the Wisconsin Dells and other sites, is 
this worship or performance?The Native American gatherings, called 
pow-wows by their Native American organizers, held across this country 
include elaborate dance competitions in which Native Americans and 
Anglos who dress as Native Americans dance side by side. Prizes are 
awarded, not for religious devotion but for beauty of attire and skill at 
the dance. Truth to tell, dancing can be performance, competition, and, at 
times but not always, a religious act - and, yes, it is social as well. It 
would be wrong to call the very act of native dancing inherently 
demeaning if performed by a white, even in a venue of performance. 
Certainly the evidence from Native American gatherings does not justify 
the claim of sacrilege. Neither is Illiniwek's dance a tradition of more 
recent origin than Indian dances done today. One of the Native American 
dances with greatest meaning is the gourd dance, whose dancers must be 
veterans of the U. S. armed forces. This is a dance originated in the 
1940s, I believe, much later than the first dance of Illiniwek. 

Is the performance racist? 

Some condemn Illiniwek as racist. Does the image of Illiniwek really 
promote a negative or disparaging view of Native Americans and boast 

of the superiority of one race over another?Certainly not in an overt way, 
but it comes down to reverence and honor, and some Native Americans 
feel Illiniwek is exploitation. And this is a point that must be given 
thoughtful consideration. 

The U of I's theft of power and control 

The sins of Illiniwek have more to do with power than with anything 
else. Dancing at a pow-wow by Anglos is acceptable because it is a 
Native American assembly under Native American control, and as such, 
participation by Anglos is an act of deference not an abuse. But the 
students and alumni of our University appropriated the symbol of Chief 
Illiniwek without asking; they stole it. Illiniwek ought to have also 
represented the people of Illiniwek, not simply the students of the 
University. Although some attempt was made to achieve respectful 
authenticity, the effort fell short and should have been greater. The 
Native American community should have been honored, heard, and 
involved from the start. 

Loss of Chief is lost opportunity 

Against those who insist that Illiniwek must go, it could be argued that 
this symbol could be turned into a valuable opportunity for the very 
people who oppose his presence. The first necessity would be to 
establish Native American guidance and sponsorship of Illiniwek. I 
believe that the Florida State University "Seminoles" provide an 
example of such cooperation and counsel. Such a step could make 
Illiniwek a far better representative of the very memory he is supposed to 
preserve. Under such sponsorship the regalia and ritual of Illiniwek, 
including his dance, could be refashioned to correspond more 
authentically and respectfully with tradition. Most importantly, as befits 
a great institution of learning, the symbol of the University could be 
transformed into an educational asset, to both the University and to the 
Native American community. Freshman orientation, for example, could 
include teaching entering students about Native American history and 
values through the intermediary of Illiniwek, their new symbol. And in 
recognition of, and gratitude for, Native American involvement with the 
institution of Illiniwek, the University could promote a Native American 
presence on campus by awarding Illiniwek scholarships to Native 
Americans, perhaps with one of the scholars portraying Illiniwek. Such 
steps might turn the transformation and preservation of Illiniwek into a 
greater victory than would be his elimination. 

Compromise may be too late 

But it is probably too late. Native American involvement, revision of 
Illiniwek's ritual, student body education, and scholarships are all 
possible, but Native American advocates at the forefront seem unwilling 
to accept any other option but eradication. Of course, all can agree on 
one point if nothing else; this should be a question of what is right, not of 
what is expedient. But how is the "right" best achieved, and who gains if 
Illiniwek vanishes like the tribes of Illinois? 

What could be achieved 

As an alumni, a faculty member, someone who has had a love affair with 
the University of Illinois since the age of fourteen, and one who has 
thrilled at Illiniwek for decades, I would wish that awarding this symbol 
greater reverence and transforming it into something of value to both 
Native Americans and the University could be regarded as acceptable by 
all those concerned. The Illiniwek that has been may well be dead or 
dying; however, the Illiniwek that could be promises to be healthy and 
long-lived, able to strengthen the unity and enrich the memories of 
generations of students to come. 

The following submission presents an analysis that amplifies Prof. Lynn's above 
statements concerning the difficulty of compromise and the nature of the controversy: 

To what extent has the controversy at the U of I become a struggle 
between competing personalities and egos?One side is determined to rid 
the University of any remnant of its historical relationship to Indian 
symbolism regardless of its respectful intent; and the other side is 
determined to hold on to a tradition and heritage regardless of the 
consequences. Has "winning" become important just to satisfy personal 


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The Second Illiniwek (the Webber Borchers Narrative) 

Sioux Indian Chief Flies to C M to Present Uniform to Illiniwek 

Carrie Johnson's Speech to the UC Senate - March 1998 
Distorted Debate - Senate Bends Over for Radicals 

"Indian Wars, " Microsoft" Encarta Online 

Massacre at Wounded Knee, 

Remembering Wounded Knee, 

Additionally, the internet was the source of extensive research into topics relevant to 
the inquiry. Although many of the significant web sites are indicated above, a more 
complete list of those sources would be prohibitive and of little value. 

(1) It should be noted that Mr. Haney, like the moderator and a few others at the Intake Session, 
erroneously had interpreted Ms. Debbie Reese's statements to be a call for compromise. She later 
notified the Dialogue that her remarks had been misinterpreted. We apologize. 


Volume 1 of 2 

1. 01/13/00 Board of Trustees Resolution 

2. Press Release Naming Louis B. Garippo to Preside over Intake Session 

3. John Madigan Submission 

4. 1 1/30/95 Office of Civil Rights Report 

5. The National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media Submission re: 52 Organizations 

Advocating the Retirement of Chief Illiniwek 

6. List of Organizations Advocating the Retirement of Chief Illiniwek provided by Professor 
Stephen Kaufman 

7. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Submission re: Organizations 
Advocating the Retirement of Chief Illiniwek 

8. University of North Dakota Report 

9. Submission of Professor Brenda Farnell 

10. Transcript of 04/14/00 Intake Session 

11. Transcript of Narratives Taped in Foellinger Balcony 
Volume 2 of 2 

12. 101 Selected Submissions from Dialogue Mailbox